Statement for Vice President Michelle LeClair on the Passage of the Saskatchewan First Act:
“Today, the Saskatchewan government chose to ignore the voice of the Métis Nation and our citizens by passing the short-sighted, dismissive Saskatchewan First Act. To say that we are profoundly disappointed by the passage of this bill would be an understatement.
The Métis Nation–Saskatchewan has been very direct and vocal in our opposition to the Saskatchewan First Act. Last November, our Legislative Assembly unanimously rejected the Act. We have issued public statements and sent letters expressing our opposition; but, despite our concerns, the provincial government refused to meaningfully engage with us. This is not reconciliation, nor is it anything reflecting a positive relationship.
This lack of care and consultation is indicative of the provincial government’s position and disdain for the Métis Nation–Saskatchewan. The Saskatchewan First Act is a prime example of the government’s abject failure to adequately consult – as required by Canada’s constitution – with our Nation and our citizens. This bill’s passage is a failure of the provincial government to recognize the Métis Nation as a partner in Saskatchewan, and it dismisses our citizens’ inherent rights.
The Métis Nation has played and continues to play a critical role in the building of Saskatchewan from the North, Central and South. Our Métis ancestors helped shape Saskatchewan into the great place it is today; establishing communities on these lands and raising generations of children who have carried on our traditions, language, and culture despite all attempts to erase us.
We are proud to represent Saskatchewan. We want to see our province thrive and we believe we can all prosper together. But prosperity will not be achieved through the denial of our inherent rights and refusal to meaningfully consult with the MN-S government. We want to work with the province, to forge a Saskatchewan that benefits all its residents, but the passage of the Saskatchewan First Act is an act of betrayal to our Nation. We want to build relationships based on trust, mutual respect, and honesty. Today, the Province of Saskatchewan has clearly demonstrated they have no interest in doing things a better way.”
About Métis Nation–Saskatchewan:
Métis Nation–Saskatchewan (MN–S) is built on a foundation of Métis identity, culture, values and language. Empowered by the Métis citizens of Saskatchewan, MN–S works to advance Métis rights and strengthen capacity. MN–S represents the political, socioeconomic, cultural and educational interests of more than 80,000 Métis in the province through an elected representative system at local, regional and provincial levels. Social Media Links: @MNSask, @metisnationsask
For media inquiries:
Rena Montgomerie – MN–S Senior Communications Officer email@example.com or 306-250-1092